How to organize your business’ tech stack to cut costs, according to the experts

A server bank
(Image credit: Image credit: Shutterstock / Timofeev Vladimir)

With government bodies across the globe wrestling to keep inflation under control and grumbles of recession growing louder, many businesses are set to face a period of considerable economic pressure.

To help weather the turbulence, businesses are scrambling to find ways to cut back on costs. And, naturally, as a large contributor to expenditure, technology budgets are coming under review.

With this in mind, TechRadar Pro spoke to CTOs from various industries in order to highlight the best areas of the technology stack to target for savings. In this edition, we focus on how to rein in the cost of your technology stack simply by organizing your hardware and refining your processes, and discuss why other parts of your business will benefit from these efficiencies, too.

Get a clear picture of the resources in use

In today’s always-online world, any organization that has been open for business for an extended period of time is going to have amassed a number of technologies to address its day to day responsibilities. Technology is always evolving, and so it’s quite possible that a solution that served a critical purpose years ago may no longer be of use to the company. 

Though it can be difficult to track the technologies that are non-functional or being underutilized (clear options for cost cutting), Andy Lole, CTO at bot detection company Netecea, has the solution, and explains why keeping track of technology stacks is important.

“As energy prices have risen dramatically in the UK over the last year, we’re all becoming more aware of standby consumption or ‘silent waste’. Leaving electronics plugged in and ready to go, even if the screen is off or no device is connected to the charger, still has a small electricity cost.”

“The same is true in our cloud infrastructure. The cost of storing old artifacts, like virtual machine images, all adds up. To really save money, we must ensure that all those legacy virtual machines are actually turned off and not silently wasting cloud budget without adding any value. There are many great tools out there that give better visibility than the standard cloud dashboards, The FinOps Foundation have some great resources to help.”

Clear out legacy architecture

Sometimes an organization switching off hardware while not in use isn’t enough, and the best solution is to find inactive or slow technologies and remove them from your technology stack.

Rathi Murthy, CTO of travel company Expedia Group, believes that having a consistent technology stack is far more beneficial to a business than trying to cover every conceivable functionality, especially as a means of cutting costs.

“Any technology-focused business that has scaled over the years will have made tech investments at different points in its trajectory, meaning there will be legacy architecture to manage. Chances are your tech stack resembles a patchwork of distinct silos, each adding complexity, which inevitably leads to greater costs.” 

“A core tech principle I've infused at Expedia Group is getting the fundamentals right as it’s important that our technology platform is stable and secure. So, make sure you focus on the infrastructure, services and data to ensure they’re consistent across the tech stack. If you do this, you’ll be able to deliver time and cost efficiencies across the board.”

 Streamline the ways you source and use data

Once a business’ technology stack is up to scratch, reconsidering and optimizing the processes that rely on it is the next step forward. One example of these processes could be how businesses source, store, and analyze data.

Peter Henshaw, CTO, at Sky Business & Sky Connect, echoed Murthy’s comments for auditing technology stacks, while applying the practice to data collection and usage practices.

“For CTOs looking to cut costs without hampering the customer experience, the best way to focus on efficiencies is to ensure that your data is scrutinized.  A common mistake many organizations make when trying to save money is that they forget to apply robust discipline to how they source, aggregate and drive insight from data, this can introduce greater inefficiencies and can prove costly in the long run.

As a result, the decisions even when hurried are supported by data to inform debates and ensure that these are not conceptual in nature, but rather based on commercial, product, customer and technical. This supports focus allows us to assess and determine what specific investments make the most significant impact.”

“With greater visibility, growing standardization and more consistent exploitation of data within our organization, it becomes possible to better manage, spend and redeploy a significant amount of investment to the most fruitful areas that will in parallel drive savings and improve customer experience.”